A1 Journal article – refereed
Motivation of young students - A cross-cultural evaluation of a model for motivational orientations

List of Authors: Geerdina Maria van der Aalsvoorta, Janne Lepola, Lisette Overtoom, Satu Laitinen
Publisher: Routledge
Publication year: 2013
Journal: Research Papers in Education
Volume number: 28
Number of pages: 18
ISSN: 0267-1522
eISSN: 1470-1146


It is a challenge for an early education teacher to enhance the development of self-regulation of young children to become and stay motivated for tasks that elicit school-related skills that do not immediately make sense for them. Being aware of motivational orientations in young students is therefore a must. In the study, a cross-cultural evaluation was undertaken of a model for these orientations which were task orientation, task avoidance and social dependence. The study validated a Finnish questionnaire on motivation among Dutch students and addressed the underlying structure of the questionnaire. The Dutch sample included 266 students from kindergarten with an average age of 63 months, and the Finnish sample had 139 students from 16 day care centres with an average age of 62 months. The factor analysis showed that the model for three motivational orientations can be accepted for the Dutch population without restrictions. The findings also suggest age-relatedness with regard to task orientation, which was the highest among the six-year olds, and task avoidance and social dependence that were highest with the four-year olds of the Dutch sample. The results revealed that five-year olds were rated alike in Finland and the Netherlands for task orientation and task avoidance. Moreover, in both countries, girls received significantly higher scores than boys on task orientation, whereas boys were rated to show significantly more often task avoidance than girls in crafts and play-like tasks in preschool settings. The findings strengthen the validity of the questionnaire in two European countries that differ with regard to their early childhood education system. It is concluded that motivational tendencies are developing well before the start of Grade 1, and can be observed by preschool teachers. Suggestions for school practice are included.

Last updated on 2019-21-08 at 21:21